There is a bear #5, Walking into Nothing

by david on November 30, 2019

A quarter mile or so before we arrived at the field, we killed the headlights so we would not spook the bears.  How Josh saw where he was going, I do not know, but we made it to the staging area. There was another group there waiting for us.  It was a hunter and film crew from a hunting show. I was not excited to have another group of hunters in the same area, but Josh assured me the field was plenty big and we would not be facing each other so shooting would not be an issue.  I still was not wild about the idea, but with the importance of good PR and the exposure a film crew could give, I knew they would be placed in a prime location. That made me feel a little better about sharing a field with them.

With rifles on our shoulders and packs on our backs we started to our stands.  It was still pitch black and dawn was an hour away. We had to be in the stands and ready when the first rays of light peeked over the horizon.  Silence was essential. Any noise would spook the bears out of the field before we had a chance to see them. Any type of illumination was also a no-no.  The lights would have the same effect on bears, and the field would be empty come daybreak. This was going to be interesting. Sneaking into a place I have never been before, not being able to see where I was going or even where I was putting my feet.  Doing so without making any noise made for extremely slow going. When I found out the stands were three quarters of a mile away I was really worried about covering the ground in the allotted time. Fortunately, there was a tractor path along the edge of the field.  With a little practice, I could keep my eyes on Josh’s back and feel the bare spots with my feet. The tractor tires kept any vegetation out of the tracks. As long as I could feel smooth ground under my feet, I was good. We covered the distance in about thirty minutes and located our stands.

The stands were metal framed and very sturdy.  The only problem with metal was the bump of a gun barrel or metal snap of a backpack made a god awful racket, alerting anything within several hundred yards to our presence.  Slow and easy was once again called for. I don’t recall which one of us climbed in and the other handed the gear up then climbed up. Once we settled in, I slowly worked the bolt of my rifle back to load it.  I was very glad I had it polished when I ordered it. Polishing a bolt makes it move back and forth, smooth as silk, with no noise whatsoever. I carry my shells in a leather holder, keeping them from clanking together as I walk.  I removed one at a time and loaded the magazine to capacity, finally easing the bolt forward and engaging the safety. Now I was loaded for bear. All that was left to do was wait for the sun.

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